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Dr Vanessa Heaslip is a Principal Academic in the Faculty of Health and Social Science at Bournemouth University. She has extensive experience in nursing and nurse education. In 2015, she was awarded Bournemouth University Postgraduate Research Prize for her unstinting commitment and dedication to the pursuit of higher knowledge concerning disadvantaged and marginalised groups. In addition, she had also been nominated for numerous awards for innovative approaches in medical education as well as the inclusion of the patient voice in nurse education.

Dr Heaslip is Head of Widening Participation for the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences and Co-Principal Investigator of the Bournemouth University Fair Access Research project. She has previously been part of the Supporting Professionalism in Admissions National Expert Think Tank leading a project exploring Additional Admission Assessments.

Her general research interests are in the field of vulnerability and vulnerable groups in society whose voices are not traditionally heard in the academic and professional discourse...



Dr Heaslip is an experienced qualitative researcher whose research interests focus upon marginalised communities whose voices are not traditionally heard in the academic discourse and who experience difficulty in accessing statutory services.

Current research projects focus upon: Widening participation including: • BU Fair Access Research project which involves academic researchers, support staff, widening participation practitioners and students exploring Fair Access within the university ( • Enhancing BU outreach for Care Leavers • Supporting educational attainment, progression and aspirations of young white disadvantaged males • Widening participation in Nurse education

Health Inequalities including: • Towards addressing health inequalities of marginalised communities using Gypsy Roma Travellers a the model • Human Henge; historic landscapes and mental health at Stonehenge

Journal Articles



  • Wilson, D., Marriott, R. and Heaslip, V., 2018. Indigenous Considerations for Nursing and Midwifery Research. In: Borbasi, S., Jackson, D. and East, L., eds. Navigating the Maze of Research: Enhancing Nursing and Midwifery Practice. Elsevier.
  • Darvill, T., Heaslip, V. and Barrass, K., 2018. Heritage and well-being: Therapeutic places past and present. In: Galvin, K., ed. A handbook of well-being. Routledge.
  • Heaslip, V., 2013. Vulnerability in Old Age. Caring for Older People in Nursing. Sage.
  • Heaslip, V., 2013. Understanding Vulnerability. In: Heaslip, V. and Ryden, J., eds. Understanding Vulnerability: A Nursing and Healthcare Approach. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell.
  • Willetts, C. and Thomas, G., 2013. Psychosocial experiences and implications of vulnerability. In: Heaslip, V. and Ryden, J., eds. Understanding Vulnerability: A Nursing and Healthcare Approach. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell.
  • Redwood, S. and Heaslip, V., 2010. Equality and Practice Development. In: McSherry, R. and Warr, J., eds. Implementing excellence in your health care organization: managing, leading and collaborating.. Berkshire: Open University Press.


  • Heaslip, V. and Serrant, L., 2019. Research readiness: A core aspect of fitness for practice? 32-34.
  • Heaslip, V., 2017. Human Henge: Stone Henge as a healing environment in the 21st Century. In: Theoretical Archaeology Group Conference 18-20 December 2017 Cardiff.
  • Zlotnick, C., Anderson, S. and Heaslip, V., 2017. A Case-Oriented, Cross-Country Comparison of Three High Income Countries’ Health Systems and Health Care Accessibility of Vulnerable Populations. In: STTI 28th International Research Congress 27-31 July 2017 Dublin, Ireland.
  • Johnson, M., Heaslip, V., Nordberg, D. et al., 2016. Positive About Dementia (POSADEM): A pan-European Erasmus project to develop a multi-disciplinary Masters programme in Dementia. In: 26th Alzheimer Europe Conference "Excellence in Dementia reasearch and care" 31 October-2 November 2016 Copnhagen, Denmark.
  • Kohlmayr, S., Gebhard, D., Mir, E., Collier, E., Heaslip, V., De Vugt, M., Klinkenberg, I., De Jong, N. and Johnson, M., 2016. POSitive About DEMentia – How to support a positive approach to people with dementia in the educational context. In: 26th Alzheimer Europe Conference “Excellence in dementia research and care” 31 October-2 November 2016 Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • Anderson, S., Zlothick, C. and Heaslip, V., 2016. The United Kingdom, Israel and the USA: The impact of healthcare systems on health. In: 42nd Annual Conference of the Transcultural Nursing Society 12-15 October 2016 Cincinnati, Ohio.
  • Collier, E. and Heaslip, V., 2016. Positive about Dementia; POSADEM. A Pan-European project developing shared Masters level modules in dementia. In: 5th European Conference on Mental Health 14-16 September 2016 Prague, Czech Republic.
  • Innes, A., Reynolds, L., Heaslip, V., Yates-Bolton, N., McParland, P., Kohlmayr, S. and Vaananen, T., 2016. Including the views of people with dementia and their families in the development of European Masters level educational materials. In: British Society of Gerentology 45th Annual Conference 6-8 July 2016 Stirling.
  • Heaslip, V., 2016. ‘Our Voice’: the lived experience of vulnerability of a Roma Gypsy Travelling Community. In: 6th European Conference on Migrant and Ethnic Minority Health EUPHA MEMH 2016, 23-25 June 2016 Oslo, Norway.
  • Heaslip, V., Spriggs, A, Mills, A., Scammell, J., Warren, A., Mercer, A., Addis, A., Bond, M., Latchford, C. and Borwell, J., 2016. "Humanising the Interview Process”; an Evaluation of Service User/Carers Contribution to Value Based Recruitment in a Pre-registration Adult Nursing Programme. In: NET/NEP 6th International Nurse Education Conference 3-6 April 2016 Brisbane, Australia.
  • Scammell, J., Rosser, E., Hemingway, A., Phillips, J., Cooper, K., Heaslip, V., White, S. and Donaldson, I., 2015. Nurturing caring values in pre-registration nurse education: a qualitative longitudinal study. In: STTI Honours Nursing Society Biennium Conference 8-12 November 2015 Las Vegas, USA.
  • Spriggs, A., Heaslip, V., Mills, A., Warren, A. and Haynes, J., 2015. Service User/Carers contribution to Value Based Recruitment in a Pre-registration Adult Nursing Programme. In: NET; networking for education in healthcare 8-10 September 2015 Churchill College, Cambridge.
  • Heaslip, V., 2015. The ETEMIC perspective - a new way of understanding vulnerability of a Gypsy/Travelling community. In: 26th International Nursing Research Congress. 23-27 July 2015 San Juan, Puerto Rico.
  • Collier, E., Heaslip, V. and Martinz, H., 2014. POSADEM: The development of a Pan-European Masters Degree in dementia. In: 20th International Network for Psychiatric Nursing Research 18-19 September 2014 Warwick, Coventry.
  • Heaslip, V., Cooper, K. and Ryden, J., 2014. Why Understanding the Lived Experience of Vulnerability is Fundamental to Exploring the Value Base of Care. In: NET/NEP 5th International Nurse Education Conference 22-25 June 2014 Noordwijkerhout, Netherlands.
  • Rosser, E., Hemingway, A., Harding, A., Cooper, K., Donaldson, I., Heaslip, V., Jack, E., Phillips, J., Scammell, J. and White, S., 2013. Do students enter nursing programmes with a caring disposition? An exploration of the qualities and values held by students entering pre-registration nursing in one English University. In: 24th International Networking for Healthcare Education 3-5 September 2013 Cambridge, UK.
  • Phillips, J., Cooper, K., Rosser, E., Scammell, J., Heaslip, V., White, S., Donaldson, I., Hemingway, A., Jack, E. and Harding, A., 2013. To explore the impact of a humanising curriculum on new nursing recruits' personal beliefs about the core values of nursing. In: 24th International Networking for Healthcare Education 3-5 September 2013 Cambridge, UK.
  • Heaslip, V., 2013. Hidden voices…..guiding the way. In: Phi Mu Chapter (England) Inaugural Conference 21 June 2013 Bournemouth University.
  • Rosser, E., Hemingway, A., Harding, A., Cooper, K., Donaldson, I., Heaslip, V., Jack, E., Phillips, J., Scammell, J. and White, S., 2013. Putting patients at the heart of nursing care: an exploratory study of student values entering pre-registration nursing in one UK University. In: Inaugural Phi Mu Chapter conference 20-21 June 2013 Bournemouth UK.
  • Heaslip, V., 2011. “The kaleidoscope of vulnerability”. Proposing a methodological approach enabling breadth and depth of exploration. In: 30th International Human Science Research Conference 27-30 July 2011 Oxford.
  • Heaslip, V., 2010. Shifting sands of vulnerability. In: 8th International Qualitative Research Conference 7 September 2010 Bournemouth University.
  • Scammell, J. and Heaslip, V., 2009. Assessment of practice in pre-registration undergraduate nursing programmes: exploration of students and mentors experiences of grading student competence in practice. In: RCN Joint Education Forums’ 2nd International Conference and Exhibition. 11-13 June 2009 Glasgow, Scotland.
  • Hean, S., Warr, J., Heaslip, V. and Staddon, S., 2009. Interagency working between courts and mental health services: the Implications for interprofessional education and training. In: Collaborating Across Borders II: "Building Bridges Between Interprofessional Education and Practice" 20-22 May 2009 Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
  • Heaslip, V., 2008. Developments in Nurse Education and Practice. In: One Day Conference for Mentors 10 April 2008 Bournemouth University, England.
  • Heaslip, V., 2008. Widening Participation: Emancipation or Social Control? In: NET 2008 Education in HealthCare (19th Annual International Participative Conference) 2-4 September 2008 Churchill College, University of Cambridge.
  • Heaslip, V., 2005. Supporting Students with Dyslexia: Issues for Practice. In: One Day Conference for Mentors Bournemouth University, England.
  • Heaslip, V., 2002. Elder Abuse. In: Staff Dissemination Day May 2002 Bournemouth University, England.
  • Heaslip, V., 2002. No Secrets. In: Conference for Nurses in the Independent Sector 2002 Bournemouth University, England.



  • Heaslip, V.A., 2015. Experience of vulnerability from a gypsy/travelling perspective: a phenomemological study. PhD Thesis. Bournemouth University, School of Health and Social Care.
  • Heaslip, V., 2007. An Exploration into the Experience of Non-Traditional Students Within a Nursing Pre-Registration Diploma Programme. Master's Thesis. Bournemouth University; Health and Social Care.


PhD Students

  • Porsotham Leal. An Auto ethnography exploring what it is like for health and social care professionals removed from practice by their respective regulatory bodies and how rehabilitation is attempted.
  • Elizabeth Gauntlett. The Experience of Academic Resilience in Low-income Students of Higher Education
  • Deborah Slate. “Nothing about us without us”. Do people who have an acquired communication disability think they are able to influence decisions about the design of healthcare services?
  • John Tarrant. Behind closed doors The lived experience of caring for people during their perioperative journey.
  • Laura Campbell. Changing Spaces; the impact of background on the experience of students from low participation neighbourhoods in a post 92 institution
  • Lynn Gill. Older womens experience of Intimate Partner Violence
  • Olufunmilayo Omotade. Female Genital Mutilation and Social Policy in Nigeria
  • Raksha Thapa. Discrimination by caste and access to health services in Nepal

Profile of Teaching PG

  • Living Well with Dementia
  • Providing Compassionate Care through Humanisation
  • Co-facilitate Doctorate in Professional Practice

Profile of Teaching UG

  • Fundamental Communication Skills
  • Reviewing the literature to inform practice
  • Developing Knowledge for Professional Practice
  • Identifying Knowledge for Professional Practice
  • Evaluating Knowledge for Professional Pactice

Invited Lectures

  • Inspiring Women, inspiring women, London School of Economics, 17 Jan 2017 more
  • Careers in Health and Social Care, Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS, 17 Jan 2017 more
  • Mutual Vulnerability, Royal College of Nursing, 30 Apr 2012 more
  • My Journey: Exploration of hidden voices, John Radcliff Hospital, 19 Oct 2015 more
  • Gypsy Roma Travellers & Maori: same but different, Oxford Brooks University, 16 Jun 2017 more


  • Supporting Educational Attainment, Progression and Aspiration of young white disadvantaged males: an action research project (Fair Access Funding, 31 Jan 2017). In Progress
  • Towards addressing health inequalities or marginalised communities; using Gypsy Roma Travellers as the model (Florence Nightingale Foundation, 31 Jan 2017). In Progress
  • Human Henge: historic landscapes and mental health at Stonehenge (Heritage Lottery Fund, 09 Aug 2016). In Progress
  • My voice, my story: the lived experience of being a non-traditional student at university (ESRC Festival of Social Science, 30 Jun 2016). Completed
  • Maintaining and expanding widening participation in health education in times of austerity (Co- Funded BU Fair Access and Edge Hill, 01 Mar 2016). In Progress
  • Enhancing BU’s outreach information for Care Leavers (Fair Access Funding, 29 Feb 2016). In Progress
  • NIHR Ankle Fracture: Does early mobilisation after Ankle fracture enhance Recovery? (National Institute of Health and Medical Research, 01 May 2015). In Progress
  • Evaluation of the role of Service Users and Carers in Value Based Recruitment (Health Education Wessex, 29 Apr 2015). Awarded
  • BU Fair Access Research Project (Funded by BU, 01 Mar 2015). In Progress
  • Enhancing HSC’s outreach information: appealing to students from diverse backgrounds (BU Fair Access Funded Project, 02 Jun 2014). Completed
  • Experiences of Fair Access students perceptions regarding HE and why BU in particular attracted them (Fair Access Funding - BU, 25 May 2014). Completed
  • Dementia Awareness Course (Royal Bournemouth Hospital, 01 May 2013). Completed
  • Dementia programme (Gracewell Health Care, 16 Jan 2013). Completed
  • Joint Masters Positive about Dementia (POSADEM) (Erasmus, 01 Jan 2013). In Progress
  • Review of HEDN Curriculum for Dementia Education (CDE) (HEDN, 01 Jan 2012). Completed
  • PDU Accreditation - Colten care (fernhill and The Aldbury (Colten Care LTD, 01 Oct 2011). Completed
  • Exploratory Study examining the Impact of Hypoglycaemia on the Quality of Life of Individuals with Type 2 Diabetes; and the Impact on their Families and Carers. (Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK, 01 Jan 2009). Completed
  • Exploratory Study examining the Impact of Hypoglycaemia on the Quality of Life of Individuals with Type 2 Diabetes; and the Impact on their Families and Carers. (Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK, 01 Jan 2009). Completed

External Responsibilities

  • Sunderland Universitty, External Examiner MSc Nursing (2017-2021)
  • Salford University, External Advisor Programme validation (2015-)
  • Mark Allan Group, Member of Editorial Board (2013-)
  • Edgehill University., External Examiner FdSc/BSc (Hons) Vulnerable Adult (2011-2015)
  • University of Hertfordshire, Interium Consultant MSc/BSc Nursing Programme (2010-)
  • University of Derby, External Examiner MSc/BSc (2008-2012)

Internal Responsibilities

  • Output Champion for UoA3,22/23, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences
  • Academic Lead for Admissions (Adult Nursing), Nursing Department
  • Widening Participation Lead - Faculty of Health and Social Science, FHSS
  • Lead for Learning and Assessing, Health and Social Care
  • F2 Programme Lead, Health and Social Care
  • Programme Lead DipHe in Nursing, Health and Social Care
  • Quality Assurance and Enhancement Group, Bournemouth University

Public Engagement & Outreach Activities

  • Presented the Human Henge project exploring the impact of heritage upon wellbeing and mental health
  • Presented the Human Henge project at the Salisbury Festival of Archaeology
  • Co-ordinated and participated in the FHSS 'Pop-up hospital' to give thr local comunity an insight into the world of healthcare
  • Presentation of the initial findings from the Human Henge research
  • Presented the Human Henge project
  • Asked to participate in an expert panel of diverse, successful women as part fo the Intersectional feminist society
  • My voice, my story: the lived experience of being a non-traditional student at university. This workshop enables audience immersion in multimedia stories co-created by students using novel social participatory research to elict lived experiences of being a non-traditional student at university by engaging in telling/re-telling of stories (Jones, 2015). We focus on students from non-traditional backgrounds because research shows how the lived experiences of these students are often marginalised by institutions (Hunt et al., forthcoming; Thomas, 2012). Photovoice is seen to be effective in capturing stories and sharing the lives of non-traditional students (Warne et al., 2012; Minthorn and Marsh, 2016).
  • Grassroot responses to regional educational challenges - We invite practitioners from different professional and academic backgrounds to discuss the current challenges and opportunities for promoting equity in education. We want to build a community of practice who can tackle specific regional challenges about who gets to access education. In this collective learning event we will work together to negotiate the question, “What are the challenges and opportunities for marginalised students to access education in the region?” Using participatory debate techniques, our student co-creators will facilitate small groups to share their expertise, identify solutions and sustainable ways of promoting equity in education. In harnessing the collective expertise of students, school leads, community educators, academics and widening participation (WP) practitioners from the region we will produce solutions and foster a community at a time of significant change and challenge for WP. We will appeal to our audience by creating a community of shared expertise and having a regional focus to tackle grassroots issues together. Attendees will engage with innovative debate formats, develop practical solutions to urgent challenges, reflect on existing practice and build a sense of community. This session is part of BU’s Fair Access Research project. Our practice-led research shapes new understandings and aligns with BU’s commitment to a fusion of research, education and professional practice.
  • POSADEM - developing a European PG programme about being positive about dementia

Conference Presentations

  • BERA (British Educational Research Association) Annual Conference, Whose life is it anyway? The role of digitally mediated life story and narrative in democratizing the discourses and practices of widening participation., 05 Sep 2017, Brighton

Consultancy Activities

  • Living Well with Dementia in a Residential Setting, Dementia Education. Gracewell Nursing Home Group, Vanessa Heaslip
  • Living Well with Dementia in a Residential Setting, Staff education and development around the needs of the person with dmentia. Colten Care, Vanessa Heaslip
  • Older Person Care Development Programme, Staff education and development around the needs of the older person. Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Attended Training

  • Athena Programme for Inspiring Female Leaders in Higher Education, 31 Jan 2015


  • MA in Health and Social Care Education (Bournemouth University, 2008)
  • BSc (Hons) in Community Nursing: District Nursing (Southampton University, 2000)
  • DipHe in Adult Nursing (Bournemouth University, 1996)
  • PhD in Social Sciences (Bournemouth University, 2015)


  • Fellow (Higher Education Academy, 2009)
  • Senior Fellow (Higher Education Academy, 2015)
  • Registered Nurse (Nursing Midwifery Council, 1996)
  • Post Graduate Research Prize for unstinting commitment and dedication to the pursuit of higher knowledge concerning disadvantaged and marginalised groups (Bournemouth University, 2015)
  • Travel Scolarship (Florence Nightingale Foundation, 2017)


  • Oxford Institute of Nursing, Midwifery & Allied Health Research (OxINMAHR)
  • Taupua Waiora Centre for Māori Health Research Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand

External Media and Press

The data on this page was last updated at 08:32 on June 26, 2019.